For the Congratulation of International Symposium '98
Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education
--The Issues on Technology and Human Nature--

Norihiko Nakanishi

President, Konan University

The International Symposium concerning "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" was held on the 14th of December in 1996. Also at Konan University another International Symposium can be held this year. The last International Symposium was on the theme: Living Together with Nature, and this time it will be on: The Issues on Technology and Human Nature. Then, at this Symposium it seems that we can get closer to finding solutions for the core of Environmental problems from the perspective of Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education.

Last December, "The Symposium of Environmental Education between Japan and China" was held at Konan University. I remember that Japan and China understood each other successfully on the present conditions of "Environmental Problems and Environmental Education" through the Symposium.

At the time of the last International Symposium "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" were able to create a common framework of Environmental Ethics. By that framework, it become apparent that we can take not a reasonable but a sentimental standard such as "sound or unsound " rather than reasonable one such as "good or evil" when we consider practical Environmental Education.

In this Symposium "Technology and Natural Environment" and "Human Nature and Social Environment" will be founded crucial factors of the Environmental problem. Then, from these two factors "Technology and Human Nature concerning Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" will be discussed. This project must be very attractive for many, including me.

As a special mention, on the 20th of March "Student Congress" will be also haven on the theme " Discussion on Global Environment in our Future: The cooperation between Japan and China". I expect students both from Konan and other University in Japan and Peking University in China to engage in a lively discussion with each other.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all participants who join the Symposium, especially for Prof. Tian Dexiang (Peking University, China), who has willingly accepted making both Special Speeches at Student Congress and Memorial Speeches, and Assistant Prof. Siriwat Soondarotok (Rajabhat Institute, Phranakhon, Thailand), Prof. Nancy Turner (University of Victoria, Canada), Prof. Seejae Lee (Catholic University, Korea) and Dr. Richard Smith (Editor of "Australian Environmental Education magazine, Australia), Prof. Zenji Suzuki who has enthusiastically accepted making Memorial Speeches.

Also I would like to mention my thanks to Prof. Osamu Abe (the chief of International Executive Committee, Japan association of Environmental Education, Japan) who will speak to us, Mr. Sakingo Imai (the chief of Kobe Environmental Health Organization, Japan) who will present his research, Prof. Hiroyuki Torigoe?iKanseigakuin University, Japan) who will participate as a panelist and commentator. Additionally, I want to express my gratitude to all participants who join as Chairmen, Researchers from the five departments of Konan University. I also want to represent my satisfaction to the cooperation by members of Executive Committee and the students of Prof. Taniguchi's seminar, and especially for Prof. Fumiaki Taniguchi, who is the head of the Committee and has worked so hard for the success of this Symposium. I believe that the Hirao Taro Foundation of the Konan University has greatly contributed its success.

Since 1992 the interdisciplinary subject on the title "The consideration for Humans and Global Environment in the 21st Century" had been held as an extension lecture for two years. Then, new interdisciplinary subjects have been established into the curriculum of Konan University. Within the subjects there have evolved 16 subjects such as, Medical Science for Environment, Environmental Chemistry represented by the subjects of Nature and Environment, Environmental Economics, Environmental Sociology represented by that of Society and Environment, Studies of Human Environment, Environmental literature represented by that of Human and Environment. Moreover in Human Science at the department of Literature Studies of Human Environmental c??Ec have also been founded. Open classes have been held as a life-long study for citizens in 1992 and 1997.

Recently newspapers told us that it was almost 40 years ago to since the Showa Base was set up in the North Pole, and since then gathering ice bars made 350,000 years ago or examining the Ozone Hole tested for checking the change of global climate, have been researched continuously. The Ozone Hole, which transmits harmful ultraviolet from the sun , was found in the 1980s. It was observed by the Showa Base for the first time. Recently, in 1995 and 1996, the greatest scale of Hole was continuously observed . That means that environmental conditions are poor. When the crystal of snow was compressed and became a layer of ice, a very small amount of substance carried by air circulation was preserved in the ice. This is called "The fossil of air". The ice-pillar, that is called the precious time capsule which can restore the history of the Global environment, can be excavated 2,500 meters in depth. It is said to indicate the condition of global environment and the change of climate of 350,000 years ago at this way. The change of Global environment might affect the life of penguins inhabiting the South Pole.

In December of last year, "The Worldwide Conference of Climate (COP3)" was held in Kyoto, where problems of adjusting for the greenhouse effect gas were focused on greatly. The reductions targeted are 6% in Japan, 7% in USA and 8% in EU. The biggest issue in this case was how developed countries cope with the problems of developing countries. On the earth, symbolized as "the Space-Ship Globe", the developed countries would collapse also without cooperating with the developing countries. In the early 20th century the numbers of the population on the Ship was about 200 people to the quorum number of 1,000 people. However, at the end of the century that increased by 900 people. Moreover, for each person who brought heavy baggage with them, when the ocean is rough, the ship is likely to turn over.

The space-ship Globe is floating in space, with about six billion people. On the one hand, we can not consider outside conditions around the Globe optimistically at all. That environment has degenerated by the Ozone Hole and the pollution of the greenhouse gases, for example, NOx, COx, and etc. On the other hand, within the Globe, the population is increasing explosively, and is likely to reach the limit of the world's resources. If human beings use the scientific technology freely only for gaining a luxurious life and their own happiness, they would get damage with the destruction of nature.

The unlimited desire of human has destroyed and changed the cycle of Great Nature by shaving the surface and giving a damage where human beings and other lives are grown up. Such a desire may lead the earth to the fate of Titanic. So, we need to retain the recognition and wisdom about the principle of economic sovereignty and symbiosis within the ship, the earth.

By the theme "Technology and Human Nature" at this International Symposium, I believe that the revolution of human consciousness should be developed.

In the future, this kinds of symposium will be held among universities in Japan, China, furthermore, in Asia and Europe. I hope that the idea of "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" can be recognized deeply by many peoples for solution the environmental problems that severely challenge us today.


Zenji Suzuki

Director, The Japan Society of Environmental Education

This time, the International Symposium'98 "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education: The Issues on Technology and Human Nature" will be held jointly sponsored by Konan University and? I would like to express my gratitued to Konan University for its efforts to make the International Symposium it succeed with financial support, preparation and so on as University did at the last International Symposium in 1996.

It became clearer for us to overcome many struggles in resolving environmental problems by the Conference of Climate Change (COP3) which was held last December. Humans, who share the same space and live in the same period, have to overcome these struggles through cooperating together.

Many environmental problems, including Global Warming, result from human's egocentric behaviors which make of use a defective technology whether with or without full awareness of the consequences. Therefore, it is important for us to improve defective technology and change human's consciousness in order to resolve environmental problems. I think that the International Symposium '98 in which participants have come from many countries is a good opportunity to examine these serious problems.

All members of the Japan Society of Environmental Education hope that the symposium'98 can be useful for changing human's consciousness and improving environmental conditions.


Fumiaki Taniguchi

Director, Executive Committee of International Symposium'98

After holding the last International Symposium '96 "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education: Living Together with Nature", we now hold the International Symposium'98 "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education: The Issues on Technology and Human Nature" from the 20th to 22nd of March in 1998. What we concluded last time was the formation of a common framework of Environmental Ethics in order to actualize indigenous Environmental Education within the framework. As that fruit it became apparent, on the one hand, that the sentimental principle, such as moral judgmens by "sound or unsound" sentiment can be the ethical paradigm used, rather than reasonable principle, such as intellectual judgmens by "good or evil". On the other hand, as to Environmental Education it should be practiced under such Ethics.

This time we focus on the issue on "Technology and Human Nature" for developing the idea of Environmental Ethics and the practice of Environmental Education. In order to resolve environmental problems concerning the demerits of technology and the more corruptions of Human Nature it is necessary for us to deepen the Ethics and practice the concrete Education. So, at this Symposium we invite the specialists on environmental issue from China, Thailand, Korea, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

For developing the framework of Environmental Ethics on the basis of whether it is "sound or unsound" and actualizing the indigenous Environmental Education, we discuss about "Technology and Natural Environment " in the first session, "Human Nature and Social Environment" in the second session, "The Issue of Technology and Human Nature on Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" in the third session.

Additionally, the Student Congress of "Discussion on Global Environment in Our Future: The Coorporation between Japan and China" will be held by the students from Konan Univ. and Peking Univ.

There lie serious environmental problems, when we think about environmetal issues. First, as to Environmental Ethics, if we focalize only on the present generation or ourselves from the viewpoint of classical ethics, we can not find any solutions. It is necessary to take a more expanded perspective in terms of "time" such as the common ethics among generations. For instance, we should not pollute nature unlimitedly by radiation and endocrine disrupting chemicals only for our own desires at the sacrifice of posterity. On the other hand in terms of "space" the equality for not only the individual but all creatures living on earth should be centralized. For instance, we should not utilize resources unequally to gain profits only for individual or private enterprises at the sacrifice of others.

For the above it is indispensable to establish Environmental Ethics considered both the periods of some thousands of years and the unity of the whole globe. When we try to grasp of the phenomena on earth, including the traditional principle based on good or evil which might valuate the emotion or sense shallowlly, the sentimental principle based on sound or unsound which could grasp of whole entity also must be recognized, for the whole phenomena are been forming by "complexity", "chaos", "fluctuation", "self-organity" and so on. At this Symposium such a sentimental principle can be the basis of our discussion so as to deepen ideas on "Technology and Natural Environment (part1)" and "Human Nature and Social Environment (part2)". At those two sessions of symposium we expect panelists and participants to discuss about the following points. Due to Technology do environmental problems occur? If so, how much in excess is technology invented? How can we make good of technology for recovering natural conditions? How can we manage technology without destruction? In other words, on the one hand we have to discuss how humans utilize technology subjectively, on the other hand whether distorted humanity causes the destruction of the social environment, how humans can recover a sound humanity. Then, at the last session we could strive for conclusions on "the Issues on Technology and Human Nature concerning Environmental Ethics and Environmetal Education (part3)" to approach more practical solutions about environmental problems.

I would like to mention our appreciation that this International Symposium'98 is sponsored by the Hirao Taro Foundation of the Konan University Association for Academic Research.